Small numbers of people actually attend Event Center Updates or public Q & A sessions. There is a huge group of voters out there who never comment, never go on the Internet, never email or call their councilor or mayor, and may never read the local paper. We know what the vocal minority wants. What does the silent majority want?
Monday, May 2, 2011
Sense and Sensibility
This Event Center process has been interesting to say the least. There are definitely four camps of thought and support regarding this major project.
A. The No Camp
B. The Just Build It-Who Cares Where Camp
C. The Arena Convention Center Camp
D. The Build It Downtown Camp.
Every camp has been vocal in their position, whether it is in person, online commenting on articles written in the ARGUS LEADER, comments posted on television stories through websites or Facebook pages, or blogs/comments. The exchange of ideas and public input is absolutely necessary to this process and should be welcomed, no matter what camp it comes from.
We have elected people to make the decision regarding whether the city should build an event center. They will have to decide if we can afford to build and operate an event center. And they will have to decide where the Event Center will be built if, in fact, we can afford to build and operate it.
Elected officials get lobbied regarding various public issues. What has been going on with this project is just that – lobbying... lobbying through the Internet, face to face meetings, and public meetings.
The time is finally approaching where it will be in the city council’s hands and that decision(s) will be made through a majority vote of the council. The city council will ultimately decide whether we vote on this issue at all. If we get to vote, I wonder what the ballot will actually look like. I wish the mayor and the city council had framed this issue differently and made some crucial decisions upfront.
We got a glimpse of where the councilors were at on this whole issue in the Argus Leader. At least there are some councilors who have the big picture at hand. It's all about the finances, what debt are we willing to carry forward, and what are we going to have to give up.
All this rhetoric about who is right and who is wrong is growing to a frenzy. People are frustrated and angry and impatient. The debate can go on forever. I wish we had used sense and sensibility in the beginning and talked and debated the financing of the project.
Then the public could have made the decision if they wanted an event center and where it should be built.